Friday, June 22, 2012

"If Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!"

Summer is finally here!  With it comes numerous more activities to enjoy the Pacific Northwest.  Baseball, swimming, camping, hiking, and bbq's  just barely scratch the surface as we venture outside to enjoy the warm long days of summer, or so we hope.  One thing we are all familiar with by living in this region is rain.  Mostly, when rain showers roll through this region, they are not accompanied by thunder and lightning, but during the warmer days of summer, as weather fronts come together, the likelihood of hazardous weather increases.

Sunday kicks of National Lightning Safety Awareness Week.  Along with our partners from the National Weather Service, we encourage you to understand the risk and take the appropriate actions when needed.   Over the next week as we draw attention about the risk of lightning, we hope to help shed some light on the myths and truths surrounding what you should and should not do. We also want to make sure everyone completely understands how dangerous lightning truly can be.  Annually, about 54 people are killed each year by lightning.  Already this year 4 people have been killed by lightning. 

We all use some type of alerting systems in one form or another.   From a car alarm, flash alerts about news items, and even those emails we sign up to share good deals we may want to take advantage of, alerting is a great tool to keep us aware of what is around us.  Well fortunately for us Mother Nature has built in a warning or alert for us also to understand when we may be at risk of being in an area too close where lightning may strike.   Thunder is an immediate warning of dangerous conditions outside.  When thunder can be heard, it is that alert that anyone outside  is in danger of being struck by lightning.  It may also alert of other threats including damaging winds, large hail, flash flood, and yes, even a tornado. 

It is important to think about your safety when lightning may strike.  If you are planning a larger gathering, its important to also knowing when you may be in the path of an oncoming storm.  The National Weather Service has created an easy checklist/ contact sheet  making sure you have the information you need available to keep all those attending safe.   This simple form helps provide a location and contact information along with some safe tidbits about keeping everyone at your activity safe. 

 Outdoor Event Contact Sheet

As we are now into the 100 days of summer we want you to remember to be lightning safe! We want you to safely enjoy the outdoors and all those summer activities that we all look forward too.  But remember,  "If you hear Thunder Roar, Go Indoors!"

National Lightning Safety Awareness Week  June 24-30, 2012

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